Lou Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Era
Let the parade of sources begin! Lou Piniella announced after “it was leaked” that he will retire as manager of the Cubs at the end of this season. So let’s start the speculation by looking at possible names that will be thrown around in the next few months as potential replacements.
For ease of use, we’ll break them down into categories.
1. Been there. Done that.
With Bobby Valentine hamming it up for the camera on BBTN, he obviously wants to wear someone’s too-tight uniform again. No reason why he couldn’t come here.
Joe Torre. Joe Torre? I have no idea why, but I have already seen his name today as a possible replacement. Makes no sense to me, but what do I know. I just started blogging.
Joe Girardi. There’s a lot of talk about Joe. Back in 2002, when it was obvious that Don Baylor had lost control of this team, I lobbied hard to anyone who would listen to fire him, and let Girardi be the player/manager for the rest of the season. No one took my advice. Next thing you know, he’s sitting beside Torre in the Yankee dugout, the heir apparent to take over in the Bronx. I don’t know why people think he would leave the Yankees now, especially to go to a team that appears to be as messed up as the Cubs are. The “he’s from the Chicago area” point doesn’t seem to be a strong enough reason for him to make the switch. I’m calling low possibility for this to happen.
Bob Brenly. Brenly also belongs in the Broadcaster Wing. He went from booth to bench in Arizona, and won a World Series with the Diamondbacks. But then he was fired while the champagne was still flying, and hasn’t been given an opportunity since. There has to be a good reason for that. Also, I can’t picture him getting away with telling his players that his first rule is to always say “yes Skipper, you’re right. I’m sorry”. I’m not really anti Bob in the booth, but I don’t want him as manager.
2. Been there, Done that. Poorly.
Alan Trammel. He’s Lou’s bench coach. Not much success as a manager for a few years in Detroit, but often in major league coaching, any kind of experience is better than not managing at all. I think Tram will get a good look from Cub management.
Jim Riggleman. I’m adding this name only because I always liked him. He managed some really bad Cubs teams, but handled himself with class and dignity. No Elia-esque rampages and blow-ups. Don’t know what his contract situation is in D.C. — a good blogger would look it up — but I’d take him back. Just sayin’.
3. Broadcaster Wing
Bob Brenly. See above.
Mark Grace. No coaching experience, but a huge Cub favorite. Given recent history’s knack for the booth-to-bench hiring trends, don’t rule him out. But the Diamondbacks must have spent a huge amount of money on that massive caricature head running around Chase Field, and you don’t just let an investment like that go. Don’t rule him out, but he’s certainly a long shot.
Ron Santo. GEEZ!
Joe Morgan. No one knows more about baseball than Joe Morgan. I’m sorry, I mean Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. Just ask him.
Steve Stone. While he may have burned his bridge with the Cubs organization of a few years ago, there’s a new owner, and possibly a new GM on the horizon. Stone made some noise about wanting to be the Cubs’ general manager once, so I’m including him here.
4. Former Cubs Legends Who Appear to Have Been Groomed Specifically for This Very Opportunity Over the Last Few Years
Ryne Sandberg. My pick, and the pick of many others. Ryno has spent the last few season tearing through the Cubs’ minor leagues. There are some who feel he isn’t as obvious a slam dunk, given the new ownership. But remember, the new owners are huge Cub fans too, and no doubt have nearly as much reverence for Sandberg as the rest of us. I wouldn’t be devastated if Ryno isn’t running Wrigley next season, but I would be very surprised.